The dairy manufacturing industry and the food industry will be the focus of targeted new research hubs aimed at resolving some of the challenges facing industrial economies.

The establishment of the hubs follows the announcement by the ARC to support two Melbourne research hubs with funding of $7 million over the life of the projects.
The dairy manufacturing industry contributes significantly to the Australian economy through strong exports and regional employment but is facing severe economic and environmental pressures that constrain future growth.
Led by Dr Sally Gras, of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the BIO 21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, the Dairy Innovation Hub will combine the expertise of Melbourne, University of Queensland, and Dairy Innovation Australia to develop breakthrough technical solutions.

The Dairy Innovation Hub will receive $5 million over the life of the project.
The second Hub named ‘Unlocking the Food Value Chain: Australian Food Industry Transformation for ASEAN markets’ or the Food Research Hub, will be led by Professor Frank Dunshea, who heads the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment.
Food processing is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector employing nearly 222,800 and exporting $17 billion p.a, but despite its strong position and significant export opportunities, the sector has failed to capitalise on the boom in Asian demand for processed foods.

The Food Research Hub will receive $2,000,000 for the life of the project, which will combine the expertise of the University of Melbourne and Kraft Australia.
The ARC’s Industrial Transformation Research Hubs is a scheme that supports collaborative research activity between the Australian higher education sector and industry designed to focus on strategic outcomes not independently realisable.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McCluskey welcomed the support for the dairy and food Hubs saying the projects were not just about research, but about innovation and transforming Australia’s manufacturing sector.
“The funding outcomes are a testament to the incredibly hard work by both bid teams and the excellent efforts and collaborations with our industry partners, DIAL and Kraft.”